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Synaptic plasticity emerging from chemical reactions : Modeling spike-timing dependent plasticity of basal ganglia neurons

Abstract : Our brains support various forms of learning in their various subparts. This is for instance the case of the basal ganglia, a set of subcortical nuclei that is involved in action selection and a specific form of learning / memory, procedural memory (memory of skills or expertise). At the scale of single neurons, the most plausible support of learning and memory is synaptic plasticity, the process by which the efficiency of interneuronal communication changes in response to a pattern of environmental conditions. A recent focus of research is on spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP), whereby the relative timing of activations (spikes) of connected pre- and postsynaptic neurons, determines the synaptic weight (the efficiency of synaptic connection). Notwithstanding, the dependence of STDP on underlying signaling pathways is not yet fully understood. To address this issue, we combine experimental approaches by our collaborators (pharmacology and electrophysiology) with modeling of the implicated signaling network (described by Ordinary-Differential Equations). After parameter estimation, the model reproduces much of experimental data, including the dependence of STDP on the number of paired stimuli of pre- and postsynaptic neurons and intensive pharmacological exploration (where signaling molecules are perturbed by chemicals). Furthermore, in opposition to what was widely believed in the neuroscience community, our model directly indicates that the endocannabinoid system supports bidirectional changes of the synaptic weight (increase and decrease). Moreover, we study how a range of factors including glutamate uptake regulates STDP. We expect our model to be a starting point to the elucidation of the regulation of learning and memory in the basal-ganglia at the single neuron level.
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01783952
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  • HAL Id : tel-01783952, version 1

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Ilia Prokin. Synaptic plasticity emerging from chemical reactions : Modeling spike-timing dependent plasticity of basal ganglia neurons. Bioinformatics [q-bio.QM]. Université de Lyon, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016LYSEI115⟩. ⟨tel-01783952⟩

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